Påskestræde, Odense

Day trips from Copenhagen: Odense & Funen

Photo: VisitOdense

Known as the Garden of Denmark, there’s plenty to explore – and eat – on this large island an hour from Copenhagen

Funen, also known as Fyn, is the third-largest island in Denmark, positioned between Sealand, where Copenhagen is located, and Jutland, where the second city Aarhus is located. Fittingly, it’s home to Denmark’s third-largest city, Odense. For a day trip to Odense, a direct train runs from Copenhagen central station, taking just over an hour. If you want to go further afield, it makes sense to rent a car from a city center location. For car rental advice, see VisitCopenhagen.

Daytrip 1: The best of Odense

Known as the city of Hans Christian Andersen, the fairytale city of Odense celebrates its famous son in two stellar museums. H C Andersens Hus takes you through his most famous works, from The Emperor’s New Clothes to The Little Mermaid with imaginative displays and interactive experiences in the heart of the city’s old town. It’s well worth the visit. For those wanting to dig deeper, the author’s childhood home can also be visited on the same ticket, a short walk away.

The city center is a lovely place to explore, with plentiful cafés and eateries lining the streets in the center, and a riverside park and harbor district to discover. Storms Pakhus is a colorful street food destination for lunch, or choose from the array of historic and classic restaurants in the city. Microbrewery and restaurant Anarkist is also a popular spot to eat and drink.

If you want, drop into a bakery and try a hindbærsnit, a sweet raspberry biscuit that was one of Andersen’s favorites; the brunsviger, a brown sugar-topped cake, is also a local favorite. For a truly spoiling food experience, head to Restaurant Aro, a Michelin-starred spot a short walk from the main station, where playful iterations of New Nordic and local flavors await.

 Storms Pakhus. in Odense, Fyn

Photo: Simone Stæhr Keller

Daytrip 2: The best of Funen

Known as the ‘Garden of Denmark’, Funen produces some of the country’s best vegetables. Make the most of it on a culinary tour of the island. Stellar restaurants to look out for include Falsled Kro, a half-timbered manor in the heart of the island, and Restaurant Lieffroy, a French-influenced restaurant serving the freshest seafood and produce all with a view of the sea. It’s also possible to take tours and enjoy tasting experiences at the island’s many wineries.

Beyond food, Funen has a particularly beautiful castle to visit. Egeskov Castle is around 30 minutes south of Odense, a Renaissance castle with turrets and towers surrounded by a moat offering the full fairytale effect. Explore its collection of historic cars and wander round its mannered gardens at your leisure. There’s plenty to keep you busy for a half day.

If that historical and cultural experience has left you wanting more, it’s also possible to book dinner in one of Funen’s historic manor houses so you can dine like a royal.